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Call: African food cities

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Programme
Acronym HORIZON-CL6-FARM2FORK
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 2: Fair, Healthy and Environmentally-friendly Food Systems from Primary Production to Consumption"

National, EU and global food systems are facing sustainability challenges, from primary production to consumption, that could jeopardise food and nutrition security. The farm to fork strategy, which is key to the success of the European Green Deal and achievement of the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs), aims to address these challenges and to deliver co-benefits for environment, health, society and the economy, ensuring that actions leading to recovery from the COVID-19 crisis also put us onto a sustainable path going forward. Research and innovation (R&I) are key drivers steering and accelerating the transition to sustainable, safe, healthy and inclusive food systems, from farm to fork, thereby ensuring food and nutrition security for all.

Sustainable farming systems provide a number of economic, environmental, social and health benefits, and are the main prerequisite for food and nutrition security. For farmers, who are the backbone of food systems and the immediate managers of natural resources, the Green Deal sets ambitious targets with respect to the sustainability and safety of feed and food production. These targets are included in the core Green Deal policy initiatives, in particular the farm to fork strategy, the biodiversity strategy, zero pollution efforts and climate action. R&I in line with the strategic approach to EU agricultural research and innovation[[https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/news/final-paper-strategic-approach-eu-agricultural-research-and-innovation]] will be key enablers if these challenging targets are to be achieved. They will speed up the transition to sustainable and competitive agriculture by unlocking the potential of agroecology[[http://www.fao.org/3/i9037en/i9037en.pdf]], including improving organic farming as part of the agroecological transition, boosting production of EU-grown plant proteins and advancing digital and data technologies (Destination ‘Innovative governance, environmental observations and digital solutions in support of the Green Deal’). R&I will support farmers to manage land, soil, water and nutrients in new, sustainable ways, in particular through the Horizon Europe mission in the area of ‘soil health and food’. New knowledge and innovative solutions will improve plant and animal health and welfare, prevent interspecies disease transmission through food production and trade systems, and reduce farmers’ dependency on pesticides, antimicrobials and other external inputs. Thanks to R&I, farming systems will maximise provision of a wide range of ecosystem services from more sustainably managed EU agro‑ecosystems and landscapes, and help to reverse the loss of biodiversity and soil fertility while ensuring resilient primary production (Destination ‘Biodiversity and ecosystem services’). Farmers will be better equipped to make a significant contribution to climate neutrality and become more resilient to climate change (Destination ‘Land, ocean and water for climate action’). Also, R&I will support the development of policy (in particular the common agricultural policy (CAP)), business models and market conditions enabling transition to sustainable food and farming systems. Effective agricultural knowledge and innovation systems (AKISs) will speed up innovation and the uptake of R&I results from farm to fork (Destination ‘Innovative governance, environmental observations and digital solutions in support of the Green Deal’). As a result, farmers will be able to transform their production methods and move to climate- and environment‑friendly, and resilient farming systems, thereby contributing to sustainable food value chains that provide producers with fair economic returns and consumers with affordable, safe, healthy and sustainable food (Destinations ‘Biodiversity and ecosystem services’ and ‘Land, ocean and water for climate action’).

Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture contribute directly to environment‑friendly, inclusive, safe and healthy food production by providing highly nutritional proteins, lipids and micronutrients for a healthy diet. Sustainably produced food from marine and freshwater bodies can and should account for a much bigger proportion of our overall food consumption. The farm to fork strategy seeks to help fishers and aquaculture producers to achieve better climate and environmental results and to strengthen their position in the supply chain. R&I will directly support the common fisheries policy (CFP) and deliver inclusive, diversified approaches to allow fisheries management to adapt to different realities, including in the international context. Sustainable and resilient aquaculture systems, including the use of low trophic species (e.g. algae and herbivores), high animal welfare standards and alternative sources of protein for food and feed, will increase seafood production and reduce its environmental impact while adding economic value to the chain. Seafood security will benefit from a drastic reduction in the current massive pre- and post-harvest losses in seafood biomass. Producers’ and consumers’ awareness, trust and behaviour with respect to the responsible production, consumption and disposal of seafood will contribute directly to the competitiveness and sustainability of the sector. An overarching partnership for a climate‑neutral, sustainable and productive blue economy will contribute to food security, added value, blue growth and jobs in Europe through a jointly supported R&I programme in the European seas, coastal and inland waters.

Transforming food systems for health, sustainability and inclusion requires robust, system-wide changes at all governance levels (from local to global and vice versa) as food systems are intertwined with all other sectors and are among the key drivers of climate change and environmental degradation. Food systems are to be understood as covering all the sectors, actors, stakeholders, organisations and disciplines relevant to and connecting primary production from land and sea, food processing, food distribution and retailing, food services, food consumption, food safety, nutrition and public health, and food waste streams. The European Green Deal and, in particular, the farm to fork strategy support a shift to more resilient and environmentally, socially and economically sustainable food systems, as required to deliver safe, healthy, accessible and affordable food and diets for all sourced from land and sea, while respecting planetary boundaries. This will involve a better understanding of the multiple interactions between the components of current food systems, to foster solutions that maximise co-benefits with respect to the four priorities of the Commission’s ‘Food 2030’ R&I initiative:

  • nutrition and health, including food safety;
  • climate and environmental sustainability;
  • circularity and resource efficiency; and
  • innovation and empowering communities.

R&I will accelerate the transition to sustainable, healthy and inclusive food systems by delivering in various areas: dietary shifts towards sustainable and healthy nutrition; supply of alternative and plant-based proteins; prevention and reduction of food loss and waste; microbiome applications; improving food safety and traceability; fighting food fraud; behavioural change; personalised nutrition; urban food systems (Destination ‘Resilient, inclusive, healthy and green rural, coastal and urban communities’); food systems governance and systems science; and digital and data-driven innovation (Destination ‘Innovative governance, environmental observations and digital solutions in support of the Green Deal’).

R&I activities supporting the partnership for safe and sustainable food systems for people, planet and climate will help identify and deliver innovative solutions providing co-benefits for nutrition, food quality, the climate, circularity and communities.

The EU also aims to promote a global transition to sustainable food systems. Targeted R&I activities, in particular under the EU-Africa Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA) and global initiatives involving international research consortia, will contribute to this ambition.

Expected impacts:

Proposals for topics under this destination should set out credible pathways to fair, healthy, safe, climate- and environment‑friendly, resilient food systems from primary production to consumption, ensuring food and nutrition security for all within planetary boundaries in the EU and globally.

More specifically, proposals should contribute to one or more of the following impacts:

  • sustainable, productive, climate-neutral and resilient farming systems providing consumers with affordable, safe, traceable healthy and sustainable food, while minimising pressure on ecosystems, restoring and enhancing biodiversity, improving public health and generating fair economic returns for farmers;
  • sustainable fisheries and aquaculture increasing aquatic biomass production, diversification and consumption of seafood products for fair, healthy, climate‑resilient and environment‑friendly food systems with low impact on aquatic ecosystems and high animal welfare; and
  • sustainable, healthy and inclusive food systems delivering co-benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation, environmental sustainability and circularity, sustainable healthy nutrition, safe food consumption, food poverty reduction, the inclusion of marginalised people, the empowerment of communities, and flourishing businesses.

When considering their impact, proposals also need to assess their compliance with the ‘do no significant harm’ principle[[See Article 17 of Regulation (EU) No 2020/852 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment (EU Taxonomy Regulation).]], whereby R&I projects should not support or involve activities that significantly undermine any of the six environmental objectives of the EU Taxonomy Regulation.

To unlock the full potential of R&I and maximise impacts, participatory approaches, e.g. multi-actor approach, involving input from industry, technology providers, primary producers, the food, drink and hospitality industry, consumers, citizens, local authorities, etc. should be promoted with a view to co-creating innovative systemic solutions in support of food systems’ sustainability.

Topics under this destination should have impacts in the following impact areas of the Horizon Europe strategic plan for 2021-2024:

  • sustainable food systems from farm to fork on land and sea
  • climate change mitigation and adaptation;
  • enhancing ecosystems and biodiversity on land and in waters;
  • good health and high-quality accessible healthcare;
  • clean and healthy air, water and soil;
  • a resilient EU prepared for emerging threats; and
  • inclusive growth and new job opportunities.
Link Link to Programme
Call
African food cities
Description of call
"African food cities"

Expected Outcome:

In line with the European Green Deal priorities and the farm to fork strategy for a fair healthy and environmentally friendly food system, as well as with the EU's climate objectives for 2030 and 2050, the EU’s “Comprehensive Strategy with Africa” calls on the EU to “partner with Africa to maximise the benefits of the green transition and minimise threats to the environment”. In support of this strategy, the EU and the African Union are implementing a ten-year roadmap (2016-2026) on research and innovation in food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture to which the successful proposal will contribute. It will also contribute to the transformation of food systems to deliver co-benefits for climate (mitigation and adaptation), environmental sustainability and circularity, dietary shift, sustainable healthy nutrition and safe food, food poverty reduction and empowerment of communities, and thriving businesses.

Urban areas contribute significantly to global food-system related emissions and food waste. Urban growth often happens at the expense of natural resources. Urban areas are increasingly affected by the double burden of malnutrition: high prevalence of undernourishment and undernutrition and increasing obesity and the spread of non communicable diseases.

A successful proposal will build on initiatives like the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP), on the FAO urban food agenda and upon the recommendations of the Task Force Rural Africa report. It will address big, intermediate and small cities and towns. It will address the fact that poorly planned urban food systems lack opportunities to link rural and urban food producers, markets and consumers, and limit the access of vulnerable groups to safe and healthy nutrition.

Projects results are expected to contribute to all or some of following expected outcomes:

  • A shift to food security and improved nutrition in five African cities (could encompass rural urban centres and cities) through a shift to healthy and affordable diets that reduces the pressure of food production on land and water use and reduces the climate footprint of downstream activities from farm to fork.
  • Reducing the food-system-related environmental footprint, improving circularity (e.g. food and packaging waste), and providing citizens with new, sustainable and healthy products.

Scope:

Proposals are expected to address the following:

  • Understanding: promoting multi-stakeholder collaborations in assessing data on food challenges (including harmful marketing and advertising and unequal access to healthy food for the urban poor), and identifying opportunities and indicators in developing urban food policies.
  • Engaging: mobilising a wide diversity of food system actors (from farm to fork, the public and private sector, and society, organic and conventional); in particular higher education institutions and research centres to work with local actors in support of evidence-based food policy development and to help provide local solutions to integrated food system challenges.
  • Mutual learning: reinforcing or creating new networks of African cities and towns to share good practices and learn from and support each other. This implies also involving cities (in Africa, Europe or elsewhere) with well-developed food policies to provide guidance and lessons learned, as well as new forms of collaboration/twinning.
  • Innovation: proposals should envisage a space for mentoring and accelerating innovative business concepts, including social innovation and upscaling in view of African or European food business entrepreneurs with special consideration of women and the diaspora using cascading funding opportunities. Proposals may involve financial support to third parties e.g. to academic researchers, start-ups, SMEs and other multidisciplinary actors, to, for instance, develop, test or validate developed assessment approaches or collect or prepare data sets or provide other contributions to achieve the project objectives. A maximum of EUR 60 000 per third party may be granted. Conditions for third parties support are set out in Part B of the General Annexes. Consortia need to define the selection process of organisations, for which financial support will be granted. A maximum 20% of the EU funding can be allocated to this purpose. The financial support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants.
  • Where relevant, creating links to and using the information and data of the European Earth observation programme Copernicus, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the global Earth observation system of systems (GEOSS).
  • Exploring how the food environment can become crisis-proof (whether something can be learnt from or has changed with the COVID-19 crisis) and how to create resilient local, regional food systems with border regimes, which do not disrupt supply chains.
  • Governance: developing and evaluating innovative multi-actor urban food systems governance processes and capacities for science-backed integrated policy making and implementation actions that deliver on the international collaboration dimension of the farm to fork strategy objectives and Food 2030 co-benefits for health, environment, climate, circularity and inclusion, while minimizing trade-offs.
  • EU-AU partnership: proposals should have a clear plan on how they will collaborate with other projects selected under this topic and similar projects funded under the EU-AU HLPD-FNSSA priority from different funding sources including Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, ERA-Nets, African Union research grants, DeSIRA or PRIMA. They should contribute to the work of the FNSSA-working group (WG) by linking to the LEAP4FNSSA project supporting the FNSSA-WG secretariat. They should participate in joint activities, workshops and as common communication and dissemination activities and show potential for upscaling. Applicants should plan the necessaryfunding to cover these activities.
  • Social innovation is recommended when the solution is at the socio-technical interface and requires social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake. This topic should involve the effective contribution of SSH disciplines.
Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Circular Economy, Sustainability, Natural Resources, Agriculture & Forestry, Fishery, Food, Health, Social Affairs, Sports, Administration & Governance, Green Technologies & Green Deal, Disaster Prevention, Resiliance, Risk Management, Consumer Protection, Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication, Demographic Change, Migration, Equal Rights, Human Rights, People with Disabilities, Social Inclusion, Urban development
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Eligible applicants Research Institution, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), NGO / NPO, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, Public Services, National Government, International Organization, Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), Start Up Company, Education and Training Centres
Applicant details

eligible non-EU countries:

  • countries associated to Horizon Europe
At the date of the publication of the work programme, there are no countries associated to Horizon Europe. Considering the Union’s interest to retain, in principle, relations with the countries associated to Horizon 2020, most third countries associated to Horizon 2020 are expected to be associated to Horizon Europe with an intention to secure uninterrupted continuity between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. In addition, other third countries can also become associated to Horizon Europe during the programme. For the purposes of the eligibility conditions, applicants established in Horizon 2020 Associated Countries or in other third countries negotiating association to Horizon Europe will be treated as entities established in an Associated Country, if the Horizon Europe association agreement with the third country concerned applies at the time of signature of the grant agreement.

  • low-and middle-income countries

Legal entities which are established in countries not listed above will be eligible for funding if provided for in the specific call conditions, or if their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority.

Specific cases:

  • Affiliated entities - Affiliated entities are eligible for funding if they are established in one of the countries listed above.
  • EU bodies - Legal entities created under EU law may also be eligible to receive funding, unless their basic act states otherwise.
  • International organisations - International European research organisations are eligible to receive funding. Unless their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority, other international organisations are not eligible to receive funding. International organisations with headquarters in a Member State or Associated Country are eligible to receive funding for ‘Training and mobility’actions and when provided for in the specific call conditions.
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

Unless otherwise provided for in the specific call conditions , legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:

  • at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State;and
  • at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Call opens 28.10.2021
Call closes 15.02.2022
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

The application form will have two parts:

  • Part A to be filled in directly online  (administrative information, summarised budget, call-specific questions, etc.)
  • Part B to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system

Page limit - Part B: 45 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of around EUR 6.00 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.
Indicative budgetThe total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 12.00 million.
Typ of ActionResearch and Innovation Actions (RIA)
Funding rate100%

The proposals must use the multi-actor approach.

Due to the specific challenge of this topic, in addition to the minimum number of participants set out in the General Annexes, consortia must include at least five independent legal entities established in Africa. The places of establishment of these legal entities must cover at least three different specific regions in Africa (as defined by the African Union: https://au.int/en/member_states/countryprofiles2).

Due to the scope of this topic, legal entities established in all member states of the African Union are exceptionally eligible for Union funding.

Beneficiaries may provide financial support to third parties. The support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants. The maximum amount to be granted to each third party is EUR 60,000.00.
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.

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